BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said in a statement Thursday that it detained 14 armed individuals in the Bekaa Valley as concerns mounted about the widespread availability of weaponry in the area.
Those detained by the Army had been traveling in two cars in the Hrabta area in northern Bekaa and were found two be in the possession of arms and ammunition, the statement said.
The Army confiscated the vehicles and weapons and handed the detainees over to “the proper authorities.”
The statement added that the Army had set up security checkpoints in the area and is carrying out patrols.
The security operation comes following clashes between two heavily armed clans in the Baalbeck-Hermel area this week.
Videos circulating online showed clansmen from the Chamass and Jaafar tribes armed to the teeth with weaponry including truck mounted machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.
The violence erupted after four members of the Jaafar clan killed a member of the Chamass clan Sunday, sparking retaliatory action. The two clans Tuesday issued separate statements trying to calm the situation.
"What is happening in Baalbeck is very dangerous and offensive for Baalbeck-Hermel and its families," Baalbeck-Hermel Gov. Bachir Khodr tweeted Wednesday. "We are betting on the Lebanese Army that has sent its reinforcements to the area today and is currently deployed to do everything necessary to remove the fuse of strife, extend security and detain outlaws."